More than 4,000 shoplifting offences were reported to Dorset Police in a year.

Figures have sparked a warning from the force in efforts to assist businesses in deterring criminals.

A total of 4,398 shoplifting incidents were reported to Dorset Police between April 2016 and March 2017, ranking 30 out of 43 different police forces/constabularies across England and Wales.

Advice from Dorset Police included businesses investing in a properly managed CCTV system and ensuring appropriate signage is displayed and using signage to make it clear that shoplifting will not be tolerated by displaying signs by entrance doors.

Businesses are also encouraged to look at the design and layout of the store ensuring that there are no hidden alcoves, high displays so that staff can see customers at all times.

Expensive or tempting goods should not be placed close to the entrance and exit doors.

If your store has a fitting room, introduce restrictions on access and have an attendant monitor all stock going in and coming out.

Use display boxes where goods are collected at point of sale or are requested from a staff member particularly for high-value goods (including alcohol) and electrical items.

Dorset Police further advised that businesses should consider employing a security guard or store detective if possible.

Utilising information from, it was revealed Metropolitan Police had the highest number of shoplifting offences at an astounding 47,580 – the equivalent of 130 incidents a day. Metropolitan Police was closely followed by West Midlands Police, who had 19,741 incidences of shoplifting reported. In third, was Greater Manchester Police, with 18,002 shoplifting offences.

Retail security firm Checkpoints Systems found that Britain’s shops collectively lose £800 million per year due to shoplifting.

Cas Paton, managing director of said: “The figures are certainly fascinating. Shoplifting is more prevalent than we would like to think.

"Considering the amount of time and energy shops put into running various aspects of their daily operations, shoplifting is really an unfortunate occurrence for them.

"Whilst it may feel unavoidable, shops can certainly take various steps to prevent shoplifters from targeting them. Simple steps such as better staff training to identify potential shoplifters and storing high value items more securely can go a long way when dealing with the problem of shoplifters."

Any businesses wanting further advice can contact Dorset Police at